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S&P Global Platts Survey of Analysts Suggests U.S. EIA Data to Show 29-Bcf Build to Natural Gas Stocks


Washington - August 31, 2017


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to report a 29-billion cubic feet (Bcf) injection for the week that ended August 25, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.


Responses to the survey ranged for a build of 22 Bcf to 35 Bcf. The EIA plans to release its weekly storage report at 10:30 am EDT Thursday.


A 29 Bcf injection would be less than the 46 Bcf withdrawal reported at this time in 2016 and substantially less than the five-year average injection of 67 Bcf.


An injection within analysts’ expectations of 29 Bcf would expand stocks to 3.154 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). It would shrink the surplus to the five-year average to a mere 7 Bcf while the deficit versus the corresponding week in 2016 would increase to 240 Bcf.


For the week ended August 18 the EIA reported a 43 Bcf build that pushed inventories to 3.125 Tcf, which was 6.7% less than the year-ago inventory of 3.348 Tcf, and 1.5% more than the five-year average of 3.080 Tcf.


The weaker build was prompted by a gain in gas-fired power.


“Week over week, the only material shift in demand on a U.S. level was from power burn, which averaged an estimated 2.2 Bcf/d stronger than the previous week’s estimate,” said Mitch DeRubis, a quantitative modeling analyst with Platts Analytics, the forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts. “Temperatures in every region except for Texas and the Midcontinent Market increased compared to the week prior.”


On the supply side, Canadian imports, onshore production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) sendout increased to offset an estimated decline of 207 MMcf/d in offshore production, with about 70% of the decline occurring in the Southeast, and the remainder in Texas, in anticipation of severe weather.


The decline in Southeast and Texas production is estimated to have come before the corresponding drop in demand related to weather and corresponded with an increase in total demand in the regions. This likely resulted in a relatively tighter market needing to rely more heavily on storage withdrawals.


The weekly analyst survey is conducted by S&P Global Platts’ editorial team, and is published every Wednesday, one day ahead of the 10:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday release of the weekly natural gas storage report of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Platts has been conducting this survey since January 2007. The survey includes 15 to 25 analysts, some on a rotational basis.


Note: Bentek Energy, which along with Eclipse Energy Group, formed Platts Analytics. Bentek Energy was acquired by Platts in 2011.
**In its weekly natural gas report, the EIA divides the U.S. into five storage regions: East, Midwest, South Central, Mountain and Pacific. The full listing of the states that comprise each can be found here.



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Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, kathleen.tanzy@spglobal.com


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